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Cryptocurrency Critic Says He’s Worried About His Safety

February 8, 2018, 6:06 PM UTC

Twitter Inc. temporarily suspended an account that’s been one of the loudest critics of digital currency exchange Bitfinex and its related cryptocurrency Tether.

The author, known only as @Bitfinexed, declines to identify himself, saying he’s worried about his safety. Since April, he’s accused Bitfinex and Tether of wrongdoing. Bloomberg News reported last week that U.S. regulators sent subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether on Dec. 6.

An army of bots was to blame, the person behind the account said in a phone interview Wednesday. He had more than 400,000 followers, but blocked about 300,000 of them due to constant spam and threats. He said he removed 20 tweets on Tuesday at the request of Twitter, only to be suspended. Hours later, the account was restored. A Twitter spokesperson said the freeze was a mistake.

Tether’s coins have become a popular substitute for U.S. dollars on cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, with about $2.2 billion of the tokens outstanding. While Tether has said all of its coins are backed by U.S. dollars held in reserve, the company has yet to provide conclusive evidence of its holdings to the public or have its accounts audited. Skeptics such as @Bitfinexed have questioned whether the money is really there.